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Hotel complex at ‘Scar’ dropped

A Los Gatos woman has scrapped plans for a $60 million commercial retail and entertainment plaza on a barren 40-acre lot, known to residents as “The Scar,” on Highway 120 in Big Oak Flat.

The Yosemite Gateway Plaza, originally proposed three years ago, would have brought an IMAX theater, bowling alley, gas station, two fast-food restaurants, several retail buildings and two hotels with a combined 350 suites to the small communities of Big Oak Flat and Groveland.

Mary Curtis, owner of the property south of Memorial Drive, decided to drop the large-scale project last month due to costly environmental review requirements. 

However, she will still try to build a gas station, convenience store and car wash on the land.

“For all the money I’ve put in, I’ve had absolutely nothing to show for it,” she said.

Curtis has been trying to develop the land since inheriting it from her late husband, Doug Curtis, who died in January 2007. She decided to scrap the original three-year-old proposal after county planners told her in December that another $250,000 would be needed for further work on an environmental impact report, after she had already invested $250,000.

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